Buffalo, New York – The OJHL announced today that Buffalo Jr. Sabres captain Ryan Kuhn has been named the Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month for December after recording 9 goals and 12 points in 7 games played during the month.
The Jr. Sabres top scorer, led the entire OJHL with nine goal during a banner month that saw him turn the club’s fortunes around with a 6-1 record on the month, jumping back into the South-West Conference playoff picture. Kuhn recorded points in all seven games Buffalo played, which has now stretched into an 11 game point streak, including points in 16 of the last 17 contests. The speedy forward kicked-off the month with a hat trick, including the game winner, during a 7-6 victory over Trenton and then scored the winner in a 4-3 victory over Aurora; both CJHL Top 20 nationally ranked clubs. Kuhn registered three multi-point games and four power play points during the impressive run.
“I just want to say how honoured I am to get this award and that I couldn’t have done it without all my teammates,” said the Jr. Sabres leading scorer upon hearing of the honour. “December was a huge month for us as a team as we finally were able to turn the season around. I think we came closer as a team off the ice this month as we bonded a lot and were able to translate that into our performance on the ice. I couldn’t have done it without my linemates Chris Berger and Josh Gabriel, as we seem to have found a lot of chemistry together and are looking forward to the last two months of the season to make a serious playoff push. I think we’ve only scratched the surface of what we can accomplish and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us.”
“Ryan has been terrific all year for us and has taken his game to a whole new level,” said Jr. Sabres General Manager Michael Peca. “He has embraced being our captain and has truly led in every way.”
Steve Hladin of the Georgetown Raiders was runner-up to Kuhn as the South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month. The OJHL leading scorer continued his offensive assault, notching 14 points in 7 games played during December.
Born on January 18, 1995, Ryan Kuhn grew-up just north of Buffalo in Wheatfield, New York. He would play his youth hockey from mite until minor peewee in his hometown, before joining the Buffalo Regals elite program in 2008 and would spend four years with the club until his minor midget season.
While also playing high school varsity hockey with Niagara-Wheatfield, Kuhn moved on to the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 16U club in 2011-12 and would spend the next two seasons with the program, tasting his greatest success. He was nearly a point-per-game player during both seasons and during his 18U year in 2012-13, the Jr. Sabres captured a 16th consecutive New York State Amateur Hockey Association title and competed at the USA Hockey Tier I 18 & Under National Championship that was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kuhn would get his first taste of junior action during the championship 18U season, playing three regular season games as an affiliate with the hometown Jr. Sabres, notching two assists, and then adding five points in four playoff contests. The following year, 2013-14, the diminutive forward joined the club full-time.
As an 18-year old rookie, Kuhn posted a respectable 12 goals and 32 points in 51 regular season games as Buffalo captured a second consecutive West Division regular season crown. He would then post a single assist during his a 10 game post-season run. During the off-season, Kuhn would officially confirm a commitment to join the hometown Niagara University Purple Eagles beginning with the 2015-16 Atlantic Hockey season.
Entering his second OJHL season in 2014-15, Kuhn was named the club’s captain by head coach John Tucker and has not disappointed his new bench boss, currently leading the Jr. Sabres in scoring with 19 goals and 34 points in 35 games played.